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Iran: February 3, 2002
   
The government is denying American accusations that Iran allowed 250 Taliban and al Qaeda men to escape from Afghanistan into Iran. The denials don't hold up well. Iran has several divisions worth of troops on the border to deal with drug smugglers. Those same smugglers, who had to pay off the Taliban in order to freely operate on the Afghan side of the border. On the Iranian side, the Islamic conservative controlled army and police would not care much for the Taliban (who persecuted Afghan Shias), but would welcome al Qaeda as fellow Islamic revolutionaries. But so many reports are coming out of eastern Iran about Taliban and al Qaeda coming across the border, that there must be something to it. There are also reports of al Qaeda negotiation with Iranian backed Hizbollah terrorists in Lebanon for permission to set up al Qaeda camps there.